For every woman within the childbearing age brackets, Period cramps, menstrual cramps, or dysmenorrhea tend to begin after ovulation when an egg/ovum is released from the ovaries and travels down the fallopian tube. The average time for a woman to experiences these period cramps is 2 to 4 days, and it usually begins 1 to 2 days before menstruation. If you have a regular cycle and you use a period tracker app or a calculator, it will be easy to anticipate when your next period and period cramps should begin.
Period cramps come in varying degrees. For the mild bearable pain, it is termed as primary dysmenorrhea. While the extreme period cramps caused by fibroids, pelvic inflammatory diseases or endometriosis is called secondary dysmenorrhea.
Over the years, medical experts have worked tirelessly to discover treatment aimed at relieving period pains. Anti-prostaglandins reduce cramping in the uterus, lighten the flow of blood, and relieve discomfort. Over-the-counter medication is available to treat most cases of menstrual cramps. Most painkillers such as ibuprofen or naproxen are known to ease the pain also. However, natural remedies and herbal infusions are the best for relieving period cramps. Natural remedies are the best options due to the potency and lack of side effects. Herbs can bring soothing relief if you know which herbs work best. Here are some of my favorite herbs to use when the pain begins.
Asafetida (Ferula fetida)
When comes to increasing of progesterone secretion in the female reproductive organs, Asafetida is one of the best herbs. To use this herb in easing period camps, infuse the Asafetida gum fried in ghee and mixed with goat milk and a teaspoon full of honey. It reduces blood flow and eases pain during mensuration.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
An infusion of ginger sweetened with honey corrects irregular and painful menstruation. This warming herb is best suited known for lowering prostaglandins levels in the systems, fight fatigue and balance blood sugar. A study conducted in 2009 showed women who took 250mg of ginger capsules at least four times daily, during their period duration experienced a decrease in period cramps.
- Grate the ginger into a pulp and add to the pot
- Pour 2 cups of fresh spring water to boil
- Cover the pot with a lid, simmer for 10 minutes
- Strain contains into a mug, sweeten with honey
- Relax and enjoy
Cramp bark is among the most effective herbs for easing period cramps. Just as its name suggests, it has a unique ability to ease off muscle cramps, but in this case, the uterus is the muscle cramping.
It is most useful as a tincture (An alcohol extract), in this states it works faster say 10 minutes or less. Extracts are more effective than teas because they absorb directly into the linings of the stomach. Cramp bark does not pose any harm to the liver unlike most OTC medications like NSAID’s.
How to use
- Follow the prescription written on the bottle. Usually, it takes about 40 drops of the tincture to easy the first period cramps.
- Take another 20-30 drops 30 minutes later if the pain persists.
- For overall muscle cramp ease, take cramp bark tea 1-3 days before the cycle starts.
It will help ease the pain before the even the period begins.
For those of us with an unusual grumpy mood before or during periods. It helps to sip a strong tea of chamomile (it’s quite bitter so be careful!) with an essence of rose and lavender to brighten the gloomy mood. Chamomile is a mild sedative, anti-depressant, antispasmodic and reduces stress.
How to use
Sip two cups of chamomile per day for at least one week before your period starts every month.
Motherwort is one of my favorite herbal infusions for period cramps. Just like a mother, she does everything you need when you are in pain. Motherwort reduces spasms and cramps in the muscle, also acts as a sedative.
Motherwort best acts as a tincture, but it can also be taken as a tea, whichever way suits you best, it is a beneficial herb.
White willow bark
I kept the best for the last! White willow is so useful in pain treatment that it was once as the essential components of aspirin. It is more effective than ibuprofen and aspirin combined together. Its woody aroma in teas is what keeps me attached.
Now you know the necessary herbs for that stubborn cramps. When next you have the painful cramps, I trust you know what to do.
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